HONOLULU (KHON2) – In a new phone banking scam, scammers aren’t fishing for information, because they already have it. This can be dangerous because it can be very convincing for people who are unfamiliar with the scam.
The scam starts with a phone call from an unknown number.
“When a fraudster calls, a lot of times, they’re calling to tell you there’s been suspicious activity or suspected suspicious activity on your account, and they want to help you through this,” said Ryan Field, American Savings Bank Director of Information Security.
One victim said the caller knew her name and asked her to confirm her address and recent purchases made on her card. All the information given by the scam caller was correct.
Once the resident confirmed all these things, the scammer asked for the person to give them a secure access code that was sent to her phone. Field said this is an immediate red flag.
“The biggest thing to be aware of in those kinds of situations is American Savings Bank will never ask for that kind of information,” said Field.
While secure access texts are common in online banking, American Savings Bank said they never use it when talking over the phone. The secure access texts are for the account owner’s eyes only.
“If anyone ever calls asking for your account password or your secure access code for any financial institution, credit card or any type of account, we recommend that you hang up and call the company, and then report it,” said Field.
However, if you do accidentally give that information, he said you have to act quickly.
“The first step would be to immediately call the customer service center or if you’re close enough to a branch [go in], that way you can report it and get your account reset if any malicious activity occurs,” said Field.
As for how the scammers may have gotten your information, he said, they could have found it online.
“There’s a lot of ways that people can get personal information like your address or your name, whether it’s something that’s on your social media account, or a result of other breaches,” said Field.
One of these breaches include the Equifax breach announced back in 2017.
Other ways to make sure you’re protected include monitoring your transactions, even through this busy holiday shopping season, and updating your password regularly. For more tips, on how to prevent account fraud, you can visit this website.